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1974 Honda CB360

What Price A Tail Light?

Classic Velocity

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If you ever watch those rebuild/restoration shows on TV and watch the auction shows as well, you can be mystified by the astronomical prices for the machines. I often find myself saying things like "But it is still a Honda CB750" or "How can they sell it for that much and still claim to have made nothing?". Well, there are moments in my own humble garage working on my own stuff with no commercial ambitions, that I understand why. Case in point, the tail light that is now on the CB360. 

I did not want to stick with the horrendous appendage that is the factory tail light. that much was clear. I looked around on the web, and there were plenty of affordable aftermarket solutions including nice small LED options. Although effortless, none of them seemed quite right to me. I had used a trailer light on my former R75 Cafe Racer, and somehow that worked. but not here. I looked at a light that I brought back from Beaulieu, but that was not quite right either. Finally, at a local swap meet, I found it. $5 and I have no idea what the original application was, but this was it. 

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I took it apart and found tarnished contacts and crumbling wiring. Out came the soldering iron and with some heat shrink tubing the electrical part was serviceable again. The trim was aluminum, but the shell needed painting, so I spent a while sanding that down, hammering out a small dent, and then painting it. I scuffed the trim so that it is truly brushed aluminum, and dry fit everything. There was a gap between the lens/trim and the shell, so I used some clear tubing which fit the job perfectly. Then there was the bracket. I found a license plate bracket from another bike, and bent it to get the right angle. Then I drilled out the mounting holes as they were too narrow for the light.  then I measured and drilled holes to mount it to the fender. With all of that complete, I now have a tail light. I did not do any lathe or CNC work or welding, but I still have hours of time in a simple tail light. At local shop rates for labor, I would have to charge $405 for this...